Laser Engineered Net Shaping

Printing metal? There are several ways to do this, mostly involving mixing fine metal powder with a sticky medium, then firing it to fuse the metal together and burn of the sticky stuff. But now we’ve run across a completely different way to print metal.    Optomec’s LENS technology (Laser Engineered Net Shaping) focuses a… Continue reading Laser Engineered Net Shaping

Categorized as Hardware Tagged

Arcam Electron Beam Melting

We’re accustomed to examining home 3D printers or consumer 3D print services, but we’re also fascinated by the larger commercial species. An interesting 3D print approach is employed by Arcan, a Swedish manufacturer of Electron Beam Melting printers. Yes, they use “powerful electron beams” (up to 3000W) to melt metal powered to gradually form complete… Continue reading Arcam Electron Beam Melting

Categorized as printer Tagged

i.Materialise Metalises

“Clank” is a sound you’ll be hearing more often at i.Materialise in the future after this week’s announcement of their new Titanium 3D printing process. No kidding – you can now order a Titanium Whistle!     This very advanced process seems unique to i.Materialise, and involves a powder based process. Powedered titanium metal is laid… Continue reading i.Materialise Metalises

Metal and Plastic Materials from EOS

It’s press release season at EuroMold, and here we see that laser sintering equipment manufacturer EOS has released some pretty amazing new materials, as you might notice in the image of a laser sintered automobile engine exhaust manifold made in nickel alloy. Here’s the new materials:   A flame-retardant polyamide, PrimePart FR, that is especially… Continue reading Metal and Plastic Materials from EOS

Aluminum Bronze Casting Succeeds

Open3DP’s experimentation with metalcasting molds has paid off: one of their experimental hydroperm molds was used in traditional metalcasting (in this case poured aluminum bronze) at the Port Townsend Foundry and the successful results are apparent in the image above. According to Laura West and Dave Feathers:   The mold was placed in a greensand… Continue reading Aluminum Bronze Casting Succeeds

Metalcasting Breakthrough

Those inventive folks at the University of Washington are at it again. This time they’ve been working on a simple formula for cementenous metalcasting. In other words, material with which you can make an effective mold for molten metal casts. At one point, they were using this recipe:    1000 parts VersaBond 250 parts Maltodextrin 250… Continue reading Metalcasting Breakthrough

Shapeways Goes For Gold. And Bronze.

It’s not exactly the Olympics, but Shapeways can now print in Gold and Bronze finishes thanks to their most recent announcement. They’ve added more finishings one can select for stainless steel prints. In addition to the existing Gold Plate Matte finish, you can now choose from:   Gold Plated Glossy (on the left above) Antique… Continue reading Shapeways Goes For Gold. And Bronze.

Alumide Examples

Joris of Shapeways posted a video showing off several sample 3D prints using Shapeway’s new Alumide material. The semi-metallic material, while less strong than other build materials offered, seems to convey quite a different character to the printed objects. They no longer look and feel like “plain old plastic”.    The video includes several truly… Continue reading Alumide Examples

ProMetal’s Experience

ProMetal is an innovative manufacturing company that uses advanced techniques such as additive manufacturing to get an edge. In a wide-ranging interview and analysis, RapidToday profiles ProMetal and their recent challenges: Identifying the right sales channels to meet the market Enabling customized versions of products Keeping consumer costs low It seems that selling 3D items… Continue reading ProMetal’s Experience

Two Metallic Announcements

In recent days two announcements regarding 3D metal printing have emerged: Shapeways announced a new material and Materialise released new software optimized for metal additive manufacturing. Firsrt, Materialise released the “Magics Metal SG” software package that should make life a little bit easier for 3D designers: Magics Metal SG provides metal AM professionals with a… Continue reading Two Metallic Announcements

Making an Artist’s Living by 3D Printing

There’s a wonderful article by 3D printing artist Bathsheba Grossman over at Say Something, where she describes her journey from student to world-renowned 3D artist. And the best part: She’s now making a living from selling 3D printed art.   But it isn’t easy. She spent ten years after completing school to build up the… Continue reading Making an Artist’s Living by 3D Printing

Sciaky’s EBF3

Following on from our previous posts on the promising EBF3 technique (Electron Beam FreeForm Fabrication), we bumped into a video showing a commercial implementation from Sciaky. The video shows the build process as well as highlighting the key benefits: Drastically reduce material costs Dramatically shorten lead times Slash machining time Save over costly forgings or… Continue reading Sciaky’s EBF3

Printing Steel. At Home!

There’s an interesting discussion underway at the RepRap forums, where the idea of Direct Metal Laser Sintering is being pondered. DMLS involves laser-heating metal (or other material) powder, layer by layer, slowly building up a solid object. This is pretty similar to how many 3D printers work, but the interesting bit is that these guys… Continue reading Printing Steel. At Home!

Glossy 3D Printing?

New developments are afoot in color sheen printing. Recently researchers at  Adobe Systems and Dartmouth college managed to create an inkjet printer capable of producing reflective surfaces in a variety of colors. Their color thermal printer is “versatile enough to print many metallic inks and foils as well as standard inks.”  One issue they’ve encountered… Continue reading Glossy 3D Printing?

The EBF3 Business Case

We wrote a few weeks ago about NASA’s new EBF3 manufacturing process (Electron Beam FreeForm Fabrication), which uses a high-energy electron beam to melt raw metal (typically aluminum) and deposit it on a vacuum-encased rotating platform. Shiny round metal objects soon emerge. Now we learn a bit more about the benefits of EBF3, which originally… Continue reading The EBF3 Business Case

More Metal – This Time Saving Lives!

Both ProMetal and Sintef have been working on metal printing processes, quite different from traditional plastics and powders of other 3D print processses. One of the barriers to more common use of 3D printing (aside from cost and print time) is the robustness of the printed objects. If only they could be printed in something… Continue reading More Metal – This Time Saving Lives!

DiMora’s V16 Engine Powered By 3D Printer

  Admit it – you need a 1200-HP car, just like us. But now they’re being made much more efficiently due to the use of ProMetal‘s “Rapid Casting Technology”, which can build molds and casting cores of sand directly from 3D models. DiMora Motors is using this new approach to build the startling 1200-HP motor… Continue reading DiMora’s V16 Engine Powered By 3D Printer


  Clank! That’s what you will hear when you drop an object printed by the ProMetal 3D print service. Their tagline says, “Functional direct metal parts printed directly from CAD”. According to their website: Using a sophisticated 3-D direct metal printing process, artists are able to produce fully functional metalwork projects from CAD drawings in… Continue reading ProMetal